Decluttering tips: 9 ways to get out of a rut


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Have you ever found yourself in a rut? Not a great place to be in, right? We can be in this situation in many aspects of life: in our career, our life choices, our finances. But it can also happen when decluttering our homes.

Trying to minimize our possessions requires us to take a lot of decisions and it can be stressful at times.

And the worst thing is that it can be hard to get out of a decluttering rut if we lose inspiration and start feeling stuck.

If you ever find yourself in a decluttering rut, this article is right there for you! Here are 9 ways to get out of a decluttering rut! 

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Decluttering tips: 9 ways to get out of a rut

1 – Reflect on all the progress you’ve made

Sometimes, we may be in a rut because we think that we aren’t doing enough. Have you already felt that way?

You’ve been decluttering for months and months and can’t see the progress you’ve made along the way.

If you recognize yourself here, try to remember all the items you’ve let go of during your decluttering journey.

A great thing I like to do is to think about the physical weight of all these piles of things I decluttered. It is so freeing to think this way!

Think about how you won’t have to move all this stuff next time you move. Look at pictures of your home before you started decluttering.

Even if you can’t see much of a difference, remember that each item you got rid of has contributed to the big picture and that you’ve done a great job so far.

Take one day at a time and don’t feel pressured to do too much at once, because in the long run, you are making progress. You are.

Being aware and grateful for the progress you’ve made will help you get over a decluttering rut. And you’ll find inspiration at the same time, so don’t skip this step. 

2 – Look for inspiration

When you’re stuck in a decluttering rut, chances are you might have lost inspiration. In this case, try to find ways to get inspired again.

One of my favorites ways to find inspiration is to watch minimalist Youtube videos of people decluttering their own homes.

It makes me feel that I’m not the only person struggling and that we all are in the same boat from time to time. It lightens the weight and the pressure I put on myself to declutter more.

Decluttering becomes less stressful and might even turn into something exciting.

Videos are not the only way to get inspired to get rid of unused things in your home. You can watch documentaries about minimalism and simple living on Netflix.

Books are an amazing resource to find inspiration as well!

My favorite book that has helped me declutter so much is Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki. I recommend the audiobook version since you can declutter your own things at the same time.

Reading quotes about minimalism can also inspire you to want less as it makes you reflect on the benefits of living with less.

Have a look at these 50 simplicity quotes to get inspired to live a minimalist life. I’m sure you will get your inspiration back to declutter and you’ll get out of this rut!

Looking for inspiration is a great way to get out of a decluttering rut.

3 – Remember you can bless other people with your stuff

When you go through your things, you can feel stuck with items that you kind of like, but don’t need.

You might find reasons to keep such items and justify yourself.

Doing this regularly can prevent you from decluttering effectively and you can end up keeping a lot of things that don’t add value to you.

If you find yourself in this situation, remember that donating or selling the items you don’t use can benefit another person.

Other people may need your unused belongings and might be looking for these exact things at the thrift store or online.

By letting go of your clutter, you can add value to other people’s lives. Way better than having things tucked away in a closet taking up precious space!

If you have some valuable items, you could make some money out of them by selling them online, which is a great money-saving tip.

And you’re giving a new life to your stuff, helping the environment at the same time. So, why don’t you give it a try?

4 – Imagine your dream home 

If your home feels cluttered and you think that you have too much stuff, imagine what your dream home looks like.

Do you have material possessions scattered all over the place? Are your kitchen cabinets and drawers full to the brim? How many clothes do you have in your closet?

What colors and decor items do you have in your dream home? Do you have many things lying around that you don’t use or that you don’t like?

Imagining what your dream home looks like is inspirational. It helps you know better if you would want to have a given item in your house.

It is easier for you to know whether an item belongs to your home and is worth keeping.

The thing is, every material belonging that wouldn’t be in your dream home isn’t worth keeping. Because we all want to live our best lives, right? 

5 – Stop decluttering for a while

At first, it might sound counterintuitive. But if you find yourself in a decluttering rut, the reason might be that you’ve already decluttered a lot.

You might need a break from it.

Take some time off and do other things. Start other home projects you’ve been meaning to start for a while.

Taking a break is often the best thing to do when feeling stuck in a given situation.

After giving yourself some time without getting rid of things, chances are you’ll get your inspiration back. I’m sure you’ll soon find new items to declutter in your home, and you’ll want to get rid of them quickly.

So give yourself the time you need, whether that is one month or more. Be gentle with yourself and get back to it when you are ready to tackle it again. 

6 – Look for decluttering lists online

If you find yourself not knowing what to declutter next in your home, look for lists of things to get rid of online.

There are so many decluttering lists on the Internet, in articles and videos. I recently created a blog post as well where I share 70 things to get rid of for minimalist living.

If you want quick ideas, go on Pinterest, there are so many lists of things to declutter! You can also look for lists that are specific to certain areas or rooms in your home.

Lists are very inspiring. They give concrete and actionable ideas for you to get going on your minimalist journey.

I’m sure you can find things you’ve never thought of decluttering before. So check decluttering lists to get new ideas!

Looking for decluttering lists online is great to get out of a rut.

7 – Remember why you started decluttering

If you ever find yourself in a decluttering rut, try to remember why you started this journey in the first place.

Was it to have a calmer, tidier, and clutter-free home? Or did you want more time and freedom to enjoy life?

Did you want to save money by letting go of the excess and by stopping mindless shopping?

Or did you start decluttering because you had to move far away and didn’t want material possessions to be a burden?

Whatever the reason, remember that you started this decluttering journey because you needed it. And that it is worth continuing.

So, even though you might feel stuck and don’t know what to tackle next, you’ll figure it all out. It’s worth the effort and you can do this.

You’ll feel so much better once your life is free from useless stuff that is taking up precious space in your home.

You can find many benefits of minimalism and decluttering, but also remember your own reasons that pushed you to start all of this. It should motivate you to get back to decluttering. 

8 – Ask yourself the right questions 

Next time you don’t know what items to get rid of, ask yourself some basic questions that will help you decide what to keep and what to declutter.

There are so many different questions you can ask yourself!

Have I used it in the last year? Is it practical? Does it suit my lifestyle? Is it my style? Do I already have a similar item that has the same purpose?

Is it in good condition? Is it taking up too much space? If I were at the store, would I buy this item again?

One of my favorite questions to ask myself is: Does this support the life I’m trying to create for myself?

Asking yourself these questions will make you realize if you actually need a given item.

It will help you understand if you’re holding onto an item for a rational reason, or because you have a sentimental attachment to it. 

9 – Have a “maybe” pile 

If you’re unsure about certain items and feel stuck because you don’t know what to do with them, having a “maybe” pile might be a great option.

It gives you the time to realize that these are items you don’t need and don’t want to keep in your life. But you don’t immediately feel overwhelmed with not knowing how to get rid of them.

Having a “maybe” pile gives you the time to think about those items without feeling pressured to give them away immediately.

This is great for people who struggle with letting go of their belongings. But everyone can have items that they find hard to declutter even though they want to.

Put items you’re unsure of in your “maybe” pile, hide them in a closet and go through it again several weeks later.

You will probably have more clarity and know better what you want to do with them in the future.

But don’t forget about this pile and make sure to revisit it after a given amount of time. And decide what to do with it without postponing it any longer. 

There you go! Those were 9 ways to get out of a decluttering rut!

I’m sure you can benefit from these tips, whether you find yourself stuck when decluttering your home or every time you lose inspiration.

Practicing minimalism and going through your belongings can often get challenging and it is hard to make so many decisions at once.

That’s why it’s important to keep these tips in mind in case you ever struggle with decluttering and getting rid of things. 

If you liked this article, you might want to read the following one too: 30-day declutter challenge: how to declutter your life in 30 days?

Did any of these tips help you simplify your material possessions? What are your best ways to get out of a decluttering rut?

I’d love to know, let’s share your tips with everyone! 

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  • Lauren Monroe

    i make similiar tips like this on my youtube channel! i loveee hearing other peoples tips on decluttering <3 loved this post!

  • Cassie

    These are great tips and really reminds me how much I have put off cleaning out my closet, so thank you for that reminder! For me and my productivity, decluttering is so important in all aspects of my spaces. Also like you said, blessing someone else with your items you no longer need is incredible. That way, your items never go to waste! Thank you for sharing!

    • Eva

      Thank you, I appreciate it! 🙂
      I agree, decluttering is truly life-changing, I love it! And sharing your items with other people makes it a win-win situation, as it helps others and the environment at the same time 😉

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